Mexico's mining output fell 6.5% in December, compared with the same month of 2015, the 13th consecutive decline.

Among metals, silver saw the sharpest fall, down 15.0% to 340,679kg (11.0Moz), according to data from statistics agency Inegi. The figure is the lowest since November 2011.

Lead output fell 11.9% to 11,747t, its lowest since March 2010, with gold down 10.2% to 9,520kg.

Zinc was down 7.1% to 34,301t, with copper the only metal showing an increase, up 0.1% to 41,412t.

The falls in part reflect lower production at Goldcorp's Peñasquito mine, due to lower grades. The Zacatecas state operation is one of Mexico's largest gold and silver producers, and a major contributor of lead and zinc.

Higher copper output follows the progress of Southern Copper's US$3.500bn Buenavista del Cobre mine expansion.

NON-METALLIC

Sulphur and coke showed the largest falls, down 28.6% and 16.8%, respectively, to 47,163t and 115,141t.

Non-coking coal output was 13.5% lower at 506,809t, with fluorspar down 9.3% at 48,908t, gypsum up 1.3% at 402,111t and iron pellet output 26.9% higher at 645,622t.

FULL YEAR

Production in 2016 was down 6.3% from the previous year, with coke and sulfur down 23.1% and 20.9%, and lead and zinc showing 16.3% and 14.2% falls.

Gold was down 9.8% and silver 6.2%, with copper the only product showing a rise, up 2.4%.

Gypsum was down 6.3%, iron pellets down 5.9%, fluorspar down 5.0% and non-coking coal down 4.9%.

Separate Inegi figures for mining production as measured by value last month showed a 1.3% increase for December and a 1.6% decline for 2016.

Mexico is the world's biggest silver producing country and a top 10 miner of gold, copper, lead and zinc.

Source: BN Americas - https://www.bnamericas.com/en/news/mexicos-mining-output-wanes-in-2016/?position=700077